love + coffee

Valentine’s day recap time!

The very late morning started at 11am with two large cups of coffee + cream.  If you remember from the night prior, I was up til 3am [not drinking..just being ashley] and I told myself I would sleep in as much as I could.  I didn’t even hit 8hrs!  I think I was excited for the day :)

Our new “BREAKFAST” mugs from c+b [thanks mom + dad!]


My plan was to make Angela’s Peanut Butter Swirl Pancakes.  Chris loooves peanut butter and I happened to pick up this FREE pancake mix at the farmers market the day before.  It was free if I signed up on their email list.  It is made with 100% organic flour and it’s locally grown and milled!  However, upon further inspection of the ingredient list, I found vegetable shortening.  I know it gets into foods that I eat when dining out, etc. but in my kitchen…?  No thanks.  It totally deterred me from using the mix!  I’m not sure why that had to be added in. 


Not a problem though!!  Pancakes from scratch are NOT hard!!  However, my recipe needs a little work before I dish it out.  It included things like whole wheat pastry flour, vanilla hemp milk, cinnamon, vanilla, a flax egg [egg + water], baking powder, and extra flax.  They were thick and kind of dense.  Probably the egg substitution plus other things…a work in progress but they were more than edible!!


Say hello to the best applesauce I have ever had.  It was under $3 and REALLY good.  I never buy sweetened applesauce. Apples are sweet enough!  So why is this the best?  Because the consistency is extremely smooth + creamy.  I love applesauce but sometimes have a little gag action [sorry gross] going on because of the chunkiness.  So glad I tried this! 


Dakota + Penny were on the same agenda.  Sun bathing.  This dog will wake up panting from the sun..she gets SO hot.  I don’t know what her deal is.  Her other favorite thing is having her bed smashed up right next to the heating vent.  She would eat the vent if she could. 


This is another kitchen favorite when I’m not using my Misto filled with olive oil.  I love Spectrum products and this spray is excellent when you don’t want any olive flavor.  Like with pancakes!  Leave the olives off my pancakes..thanks!


What is this mess of deliciousness you ask??  It’s the peanut butter swirl part for the pancakes!  You can infuse ANY pancake recipe with this concoction.  And you really should.  Really.

1 part applesauce to 1 part creamy pnut butter –> microwaved 30sec –> put in a plastic bag for ease when piping onto pancakes




Swirl action.  I love the flax specs!  [I use ground flaxmeal for my baking, from Bob’s Red Mill]


Plastic piping bag.  So professional.  I also did one round of almond butter + applesauce swirl.  Also yummy, but you know I am partial to my peanut butter!!


Infused maple syrup sauce!!

#1 – Chocolate Coconut Maple Syrup [using Artisana Cacao Bliss]

#2 – Coconut Butter Maple Syrup [using Artisana Coconut Butter]

Words can’t describe how mouth-watering delicious these were. 


My new favorite plate!


I made a mocktail for brunch!  Blood Orange Italian soda + buBbLy water




Tried to pipe in a heart…worked, sort of ;)




Bananas + coconut infused maple syrup = BEST new way to enjoy pancakes

12 11

I made all gone.  duh.


What next!?  Another recipe from Angela.  Peanut butter cups! I had been eyeing up the pnut butter cups for some time now and thought they would be perfect for dessert.  Chris + I are both pnut butter fa-reaks.  I don’t have any finished photos of them yet, but think of a reeses cup but 10x better.

Mess #2 of the day!  [reading the recipe from my computer]  I did a few things different with the recipe, like adding cinnamon + vanilla.  I also didn’t use vegan graham cracker or vegan choc chips.  However, I did pick up some soy-free vegan butter to use for this and it is spectacular.


peanut butter/vegan butter/graham mixture


1/2 topped with pnuts + chia seeds

1/2 topped with almonds + shredded coconut


Really good graham crackers.  Seriously.


I popped dessert in the freezer to set and then I was on to making lunch!

Amazing whole wheat loaf topped with a ton of seeds + grains.  This was the loaf I got at the farmers market on Saturday.  The surprising thing about this loaf is how moist it is on the inside.


On the menu. 

Deconstructed veggie samiches – torn bread + veggies + curry honey hummus

Cold quinoa fruit + nut salad topped with goat cheese



I made Chris a valentine’s/dating annv. card.  [do you married ladies still celebrate/acknowledge your dating annv?]  I also got him a choco/pnut butter covered pretzel rod.  Crazy day of pnut butter!!! He loved the card, hehe.  Did I tell you Chris was making dinner?? Holy moly did it smell good.  I knew tilapia [ethically farmed from Whole Foods] was on the menu but I didn’t know the details.

A little about Chris – He thinks cooking is “okay.”  He always says “but you just enjoy it so much.” lol  However, when he gets in the kitchen he always whips up something completely delicious.  Hey Chris, cook more please!!!!!!!!! :)


I mean….come on!!!  Look at this plate! 

1- asparagus, pan cooked to joke

2- rosemary garlic linguine [that we picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago] with a sage + garlic infused butter sauce, oh MY!!!

3- fresh breadcrumbs + sage + rosemary encrusted tilapia


The pasta, from the market, was incredible.  The butter sauce was not overwhelming.  You just needed a tiny bit.  This meal was full of flavor + LOVE!!! hehehe

I couldn’t believe he even got the breading to STAY ON the fish!!  I can never do this.  He told me the technique.  He said instead of just an egg wash, you mix egg + flour together, coat the fish with that, and then bread.  Impressive.


I am allowed to have a gush once in awhile and what better day than on valentine’s.  [even if it is cliche or hallmark created or whatever]  It was a really fun day, centered around 2 of my favorite things.  CHRIS + FOOD!  One of the best things Chris has done for me is taught me to be a little more relaxed and more confident.  All throughout school [and other times] I would always doubt myself, for no good reason.  Chris has helped me with this, so much!  He is so reassuring and calming.  It’s nice to have balance in a relationship.  I’m crazy + he’s calm…PErrrrfect ;)  He also pushes me to try new things and supports me with every single thing I do. [ie, granola bar business, the blog, running, learning photography, etc]  I could go on + on but you get the idea. 

Happy 7 years together, Chris.  I more than love you!